Using the Logparser Utility to Analyze Exchange/IIS Logs
Logparser is a Tool developed by Microsoft which you can use to analyze different Log files and File formats. It is not primary designed for Exchange Server but can be used to analyze the different Exchange and IIS log files.
Logparser is a command line tool but a rudimentarily GUI is available as an Addon which I will show you later.
Other possibilities of Logparser are the possibility to analyze Windows Event Logs, to aggregate Data and to display Logparser data in HTML forms and other formats.
Logparser 1.0 (2000) was the first version from Microsoft used internally to analyze IIS log files.
Logparser 2.0 was the first public available version from Microsoft.
Logparser 2.1 is part of the IIS 6 Resource Kit.
The next version was Logparser 2.2 from January 2005.
The actual version of Logparser is 2.2.10 from April 2005.
As you can see in the following picture, Logparser can analyze Log files from many different Log file formats like Textfiles, EventLogs and Registry. Microsoft Logparser uses a SQL like Engine to make Data queries, to aggregate data and to format data for displaying.
Figure 1: Logparser Architecture
You can Download the newest version from Microsoft Logparser at the following website: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=890cd06b-abf8-4c25-91b2-f8d975cf8c07&displaylang=en
Figure 2: Downloading Logparser
After downloading Logparser, simply double click the installation file and follow the installation instructions. When you install the package select “Documentation” and “Samples” to get a quick start guide on how to use Logparser and some samples to understand the Logparser syntax which is for people like me with minimal knowledge in programming and scripting which are not so easy to understand.
Figure 3: Logparser components
Logparser installs itself in a folder in Program Files without modifying the system's PATH environment variable, so you have to manually edit the System’s PATH variable or copy Logparser.exe to the \Windows\system32 path.
Do you want to have more Information about Logparser?
The website http://www.logparser.com is the official unofficial website for Logparser resources. You will find some more helpful information about Logparser at http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1712.
GUI for Logparser
On the unofficial Logparser Website you will find a small Utility which gives Logparser an rudimentary GUI. The GUI has only a few menu items. The function to save a query for later execution or edit is nice.
You can download the Logparser GUI from the following website http://www.logparser.com/simpleLPview00.zip.
No installation is required. Simply open the Window and enter your query.
The command SELECT * FROM System will show you all system event log entries on the local machine.
You can export the query results to a CSV file.
Figure 4: Logparser GUI
The command SELECT Path, Size FROM C:\temp*.* ORDER BY SIZE lists all files and subdirectories from c:\temp, ordered by file size, beginning with the smallest file size.
Figure 5: Logparser GUI – command to order files by size
IIS Services and Log file Formats
The following table shows the supported log file formats for Exchange services like Web, SMTP and NNTP.
Figure 6: Supported Log file formats
IIS W3C Protocol fields
If you want to analyze the W3C log files for OWA usage, you must know which Properties you can specify in the Logparser tool. You will find the same table for SMTP Log Fields in the Online help from Microsoft Exchange 2003.
Figure 7: W3C extended Log Fields
The input formats provided by Log Parser 2.2 include:
- Input formats that parse log files generated by IIS and return the entries in the logs
- Input formats that parse generic text log files formatted according to the CSV, TSV, NCSA, W3C, and XML standards and return the fields contained in the logs
- An input format that returns events from the Windows Event Log
- Input formats that return information on Active Directory objects, on files and directories, and on registry keys
- An input format that parses NetMon capture files and returns information on TCP/IP packets and connections
Output formats perform the opposite function of the input formats: they consume records and do something useful with the fields contained in the records. The output formats provided with Log Parser 2.2 can:
- Save records to text files formatted according to the CSV, TSV, W3C, and XML standards
- Save records to text files formatted according to generic user-specified templates
- Display records to the console or to a GUI window
- Upload records to a table in a SQL database
- Format records according to the Syslog standard, and dispatch records to a Syslog server, to a text file, or to a user
- Create Excel-style charts that present the record’s numeric data in a graphical format
If you are using Logparser for the first time you should open Logparser with the /? Command to display a list of available commands. As you can see, Logparser is capable of many Input formats.
Figure 8: Logparser help
A simple query
The following Picture shows Logparser in Action to query a logfile in W3C format to find how often the IP address 126.96.36.199 is in the logfile. Logparser queries the Exchange Logfile named EX060326.LOG.
Figure 9: A first simple query
With the help of the “NAT” option, Logparser will display the results in the CLI (Command Line Interface) a little bit clearer. You can also use Logparser to display Logparser results as HTML reports. To use Logparser with HTML output you must use Templates. Templates will give Logparser the option to display query results in HTML format.
The following example shows a graphical HTML Report with a template.
Figure 10: Logparser HTML Output
Logparser and Remote Systems
You can use Logparser to define queries from remote systems. You can extend Logparser queries for remote systems. The only thing you have to do is to extend the normal Logparser query with the remote Server in UNC convention.
Figure 11: Logparser and execution on remote System
The command \\NTSYSTEM1\System queries the remote system NTSYSTEM1 and the System Event Log.
This article can’t show you the whole Syntax of Logparser, but I will show you here some additional commands.
Show OWA users
The following Logparser command is a Microsoft Technet sample and shows you the OWA users of your Exchange Server.
"SELECT TO_STRING(time, 'HH') AS Hour, COUNT(*) AS Hits INTO hitPerSecond.jpg FROM ex*.log GROUP BY Hour ORDER BY Hour ASC" -i:IISW3C -o:CHART -chartType:ColumnClustered -chartTitle:"Hourly Hits" -groupSize:420x280
logparser file:owausage.sql -i:IISW3C -o:CHART -chartType:ColumnClustered -chartTitle:"owa.it-training-grote.de – Hits per Hour" -groupSize:420x280
TO_STRING(time, 'HH') AS Hour,
DIV(Sum(cs-bytes),1024) AS Incoming(K),
DIV(Sum(sc-bytes),1024) AS Outgoing(K)
GROUP BY Hour
The Logparser Book
You can buy the Logparser Book published by Syngress from the following website: http://www.syngress.com/catalog/?pid=3110
This book is also available as an E-Book for less then 16$. If you work closer with Logparser this book is my recommended reading for you.
Logparser is a great tool with many helpful functions and a powerful query language to analyze several different Log files from several different Data sources. Logparser is so powerful that you might have to spend some time playing with this tool to get familiar with the complex syntax.
The Unofficial Logparser Support Site
Professor Windows - How Log Parser 2.2 Works
LogParser and RRDTool
Microsoft Technet LogParser Examples
Exchange Server ActiveSync Reporting with LogParser - COM object available
LogParser Commandline Creator